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The Situation Room

News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting and online resources update international news. New.

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Obama 38, Syria 24, Us 23, U.s. 20, Israel 17, Virginia 14, Libya 13, United States 13, Colorado 12, Paul Ryan 11, Iran 11, America 10, Joe Biden 10, Romney 9, Venezuela 8, Wolf Blitzer 7, Collin 7, New York City 7, Cnn 6, Assad 6,
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  CNN    The Situation Room    News/Business. Wolf Blitzer. Traditional reporting  
   and online resources update international news. New.  

    October 8, 2012
    4:00 - 7:00pm EDT  

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commissioners say it may be two to three years before it is complete and it could cost an additional $15 million to $20 million, all becse of a teeny tiemy spider smaller than a dime. how about that? and with that, i say good-bye to you. thank you so much for being with me here on this monday. i'm brooke baldwin in atlanta. now let's take you to washington. wolf blitzer, you're "the situation room" begins right now. happening now, mitt romney rips apart president obama's foreign policy and takes the lead in a brand-new poll that is being released right now. also, more than 100 cases of meningitis now reported in an outbreak caused by a tainted steroid. the death toll is climbing as well. plus, behind the scenes of a death-defying record attempt. a supersonic jump from the edge of space. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room."
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this just coming in, a major shake-up in the polls. only 29 days before the presidential election. mitt romney clearly riding very high since his strong showing in the first presidential debate. and now he has taken the lead in a closely watched and highly respected poll. take a look at these numbers just released by the pew research center. mitt romney now four points ahead of president obama among likely voters nationwide, erasing the president's eight-point lead before the first debate. let's go deeper right now with our chief political analyst gloria borger, she's joining us. it's clear that that debate has really, really helped mitt romney. >> yeah, i don't think the
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romney campaign could have wanted to do any more with this debate than they did. if you look across the board at these numbers, wolf, romney has made gains in almost every area including somebody who's better able to improve the jobs situation. he leads -- romney leads obama by eight points on that. so whether it's on the economy, whether it's on leadership, he's now tied with the president. as far as leadership ability is concerned. so i think romney got everything out of that debate and more. >> he certainly did. and if you take a look at -- let me put the numbers back on the screen one more time. earlier this month before the debate, romney was behind the president, the president, 51%, romney, 43%. eight-point difference. now 49% for romney, 45% for obama, a four-point spread. that's a 12-point spread in only, what, three weeks, shall
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we say? and clearly the major development was his strong performs at that debate. >> you know, wolf, it just shows you that voters are still really weighing the pluses and minuses of these two candidates. what i really need to see, though, to make any judgment about how this is going to really affect the election or how it has affected voters is i need to look in the battleground states, don't you think? you need to look at the battleground state of ohio. you need to look at wisconsin. you need to look at iowa. you need to look at virginia, florida, and see whether in fact the race has tightened, particularly in a state like ohio, wolf, where the president had a commanding lead by five or six points. let's see if in that state which the republican campaign has to win, i believe, if mitt romney's to become president, let's see if the poll numbers in that state of ohio which we're going to see as this week proceeds,
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let's see if those numbers have tightened there because that's going to be a key number for us. >> it certainly must be a huge wake-up call for the obama campaign, these pew research poll numbers that have just come out. >> yeah. >> so what do they do now? they've got a vice presidential debate coming up thursday night. >> they've got to have a couple of good presidential debates and they all believe that the president can do it and clearly the president himself understands that he didn't perform the way he would have hoped in the first debate. i do think that this puts a little bit of pressure on joe biden to perform well. having talked to my sources in the biden camp, they say they're sticking with their game plan, that is to draw contrast with paul ryan. that they intend to do that. that they intend to talk about foreign policy as well as domestic policy. and that they want to continue to draw the contrasts with the romney campaign because they
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believe romney has been kind of soft in telling us where he's going to go on foreign policy in his speech today as well as on domestic policy, how would he reduce that deficit. so they still think they've got openings here, wolf. and they do. anything can happen. overnight's a lifetime in politics, particularly when it comes to a close presidential race like this. >> and all those folks thought that president obama had it wrapped up a few days ago, not yet. gloria, stand by. mitt romney was clearly hammering away at the president's foreign policy before a military audience today and sketched out a stronger, bolder response by a romney administration. cnn's national political correspondent jim acosta has more on that. >> reporter: wolf, after millions of americans watched mitt romney go toe to toe with president obama at their first debate, the gop nominee now wants voters to see him as commander in chief. he's done just that in a series of foreign policy speeches, including one here at the
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virginia military institute where he kudz the president of allowing the middle east to drift closer towards war. telling a crowd of cadets and supporters at the virginia military institute that hope is not a strategy on foreign policy, mitt romney wasted no time in building his case that the middle east has grown more dangerous under president obama's watch. exhibit a was last month's attack that left a u.s. ambassador dead at the american consulate in libya. >> the attacks on america last not should not be seen as random acts. they're expressions of a larger struggle playing out across the broader middle east and i'll vigorously pursue the terrorists who attacked our consulate in benghazi and killed our fellow americans. >> reporter: romney then seized on the recently violence in syria and the potential for an iranian nuclear weapon to issue a dire warning, that war in the region could be on the horizon. >> it's clear that the risk of conflict in the region is higher now than when the president took office. >> reporter: the gop nominee
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pledged to get tough by reversing looming defense cuts coming at the end of the year, threatening to impose possible new sanctions on iran and by looking for ways to arm the rebels in syria. romney also said he would pursue a two-state solution between the israelis and palestinians, a concept he seemed to diminish at a fund-raiser that was secretly recorded and leaked to mother jones magazine. >> i look at the palestinians not wanting to see peace anyway for political purposes, committed to the destruction and elimination of israel. i say, there's just no way. >> reporter: the obama campaign tried to get the jump on romney's speech, releasing a new ad, reminding voters of the republican candidate's gaffe-plagued foreign trip over the summer. romney, obama aides say, is no ronald reagan, more like chevy chase. combatting that image, romney met with a group of retired generals after a speech.
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the romney approach would be both more muscular and bipartisan. >> if you look at harry truman and john kennedy and the use of power by bill clinton in his second term, that is a much different approach than jimmy carter and barack obama. >> reporter: to put his vision into action, romney will have to win first, which explains why he made an impromptu stop at a nearby elementary school. at this stage of the race, the pictures matter almost as much as the policies. romney did mention the obama campaign's trump card on foreign policy, the killing of osama bin laden, but he seemed to give the credit to what he called, quote, military and intelligence professionals. romney will now shift back to the economy with campaign events coming up here in virginia and also in iowa and ohio. wolf? >> jim acosta, thank you. let's go back to gloria borger. what was mitt romney trying to accomplish with this marriage foreign policy speech today? >> well, i think he was trying to do a bunch of things.
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first of all, on the leadership question, trying to establish his credentials on foreign policy, as you know, he's made some mistakes when he's been off the cuff on foreign policy, particularly after the ambassador was killed in libya. also when he took his overseas trip to britain during the olympics, also in talking about russia. so he had to kind of try and reset, if you will, establish his credentials there as a strong leader and a commander in chief. also, i think if you look at this speech, i'm talking to some democrats about it today. one thing they said is they thought it was a clear move to reset to the center. there are lots of foreign policy fights going on within the republican party. and this seemed to be a move to the center without much detail. and democrats are complaining about the detail in it. but you recall during all of those primary debates, when it came to foreign policy, republicans tended to be much
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more isolationists in their views. and i think that is not what we heard from mitt romney today. and conservatives are saying, you know what, we may disagree with mitt romney on a bunch of this stuff, but we're not going to fight with him now. we're going to wait till after the election if he wins. >> gloria, thanks very much. good analysis. meanwhile, the obama campaign is going after mitt romney's speech and they're using a big diplomatic name to do it. we're going to be live with the president out there on the campaign trail. plus, gas prices nearing $5 a gallon. the emergency measures now being taken in one state. [ male annou] dayquil doesn't treat that. huh? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus rushes relief to all your worst cold symptoms, plus it relieves your runny nose. [ sighs ] thank you! [ male announcer ] you're welcome. that's the cold truth!
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president obama's in california attending fund-raisers and honoring the late labor and civil rights actist cesar chavez. our white house correspondent dan lothian is traveling with
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the president right now. what's the latest areaction coming from the obama campaign? >> reporter: first of all, the president himself has not reacted to that speech by mitt romney. but last night at a major fund-raiser in los angeles, he was flexing his foreign policy muscles right off the top of his remarks, he was talking about how he ended the war in iraq, how he's winding down the war in afghanistan, how he's gone after terrorists, how he got osama bin laden. those are just some examples, says his campaign, of strong leadership. as president obama honored civil rights icon cesar chavez -- >> the movement he helped to lead was sustained by a generation of organizers who stood up and spoke out and urged others to do the same. >> reporter: his campaign worked to shred gop nominee mitt romney's foreign policy chops, rolling out this hard-hitting web ad reminding voters of what they called stumbles on the world stage. >> governor romney not too long ago said, the russian federation
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is our number one strategic threat. come on, think. that isn't the case. >> reporter: and this tv ad now running in the important battleground state of virginia. >> when our u.s. diplomats were attacked in libya, "the new york times" said romney's approach showed a lack of -- >> reporter: and a conference call with former secretary of state madeleine albright and ben le bolt. >> he's changed his mind on a number of issues, in terms of libya. at first, he was for the intervention. now he's against it. it's unclear where he is on syria. >> behind the tough talk, he's an erratic, unsteady in his audition on the world stage. >> reporter: the obama campaign says governor romney's foreign
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policy speech was, quote, full of platitudes and free of substance. the recent unrest in egypt and libya has given the gop nominee an opportunity to question the president's policies and draw a contrast for voters on those issues along with the economy. but experts observed taking on an incumbent president comes with fundamental disadvantages. >> the president has been doing this day in and day out, getting the intelligence briefings, working with all the cabinet secretaries, working with his staff. for romney, he has to learn this every day and it all seems a little bit abstract for the president. it might have been abstract four years ago. sure isn't abstract now. >> reporter: the economy still remains issue number one for voters. but both of those campaigns are going at each other showing who would be best to handle foreign policy. the president has a slight edge over mitt romney. but he's seen his number, mitt romney has, over the last few weeks, the numbers have gone up
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ever so slightly. >> and the foreign policy numbers would be for the debate. you've seen this new pew research center poll that now shows romney ahead slightly over the president. that's a dramatic shift from only a few weeks ago when the president was ahead 51% to 43%. are you getting any reaction from the obama folks about this? >> reporter: you're right. it is a dramatic shift. no immediate reaction from the obama campaign. but we'll most likely hear that they don't watch those number that is go up and down, that they're focused on the long term, as they take this sort of final stretch to election day. they always like to say that they run as if they are five points now and now they're keeping their foot on the pedal, wolf, as they head to election day. >> that's like tv executives always say they don't pay attention to ratings. >> reporter: right, right. >> it's the same kind of thing as we all know. thanks, dan lothian, very much for that. let's go to a story you saw
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first here on cnn. lisa sylvester has that and some of the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. >> we have learned louisiana governor bobby jindal and new jersey governor chris christie are set to lead the republican governors association through the next two election cycles. the tentative replacement would make jind it will chairman in 2013 with christie taking over in 2014. if he wins reelection. that could give both men a national platform to seek the presidency if mitt romney is not elect this had november. in philadelphia, a brawl between separate wedding parties at a hotel has left a man death and another charged with assaulting a police officer. take a look at this video. the fight was caught on tape, spilled into the streets and police arrested three people. authorities say a 57-year-old man believed to be an uncle of the bride suffered a heart attack and died a short time later. and a state senate race in maine has turned into a battle over a candidate's passion for
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online gaming. democrat klein lachowicz is being accused of living in the fantasy world of a popular world of warcraft. she says she's focusing on her hobby instead of policy issues. i don't know a whole lot about the "world of warcraft." but it's quite popular. we're checking in with our medical team on the meningitis outbreak. ♪ hi dad. many years from now, when the subaru is theirs... hey. you missed a spot. ...i'll look back on this day and laugh.
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states from the meningitis outbreak is creeping up. eight people have now died from the rare strain of the disease and health officials are trying to get a handle on the outbreak. cnn's senior medical correspondent elizabeth cohen is joining us now with more. what's going on here? how could this happen? >> it happened because of what's called compounding pharmacies. these are pharmacies that historically have operated on a small scale. you need, for example, a child-size dose of an adult medicine, you can't get it in a regular market. a compounded pharmacy will get it for you. this pharmacy in new england that we're talking about, they make all of these medicines. this is a list of all the medicines that they make. and these pharmacies, because historically they've been kind of mom and pop shops, they're regulated by the state. and many people say, now that they're getting bigger, the f fs
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ought to step in. >> has this happened before, based on what we know? >> yes, it has happened before. there have been problems in other compounding pharmacies. last year, you and i talked about nine deaths in alabama because of a medicine that was made in a compounding pharmacy there. there was also eye infections in florida because of a medicine made at a compounding pharmacy there. this has happened before. >> how were each of the folks out there who are watching be right now? >> you should only be worried if you've had a steroid injection for back pain. again, only be worried if you've had a steroid injection for back pain. and what you should do is you should call your doctor if you've had one of these in the past six months and find out if your medicine was made by the new england compounding center. if it was, talk to your doctor about whether or not you should come in for testing. you want to talk to your doctor
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about whether you should get any kind of testing to see if you have it. >> thanks very much. mitt romney's major foreign policy speech is raising some questions today. our special panel of political experts getting ready to break it down. that's coming up. and a daredevil on the verge of skydiving from the edge of space. we're taking you behind the scenes. our own brian todd is there. bob, these projections... they're... optimistic. productivity up, costs down, time to market reduced... those are good things. upstairs, they will see fantasy.
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i wish my patients could see what i see. ♪ that over time, having high cholesterol and any of these risk factors can put them at increased risk for plaque buildup in their arteries. so it's even more important to lower their cholesterol, and that's why, when diet and exercise alone aren't enough, i prescribe crestor. in a clinical trial versus lipitor, crestor got more high-risk patients' bad cholesterol to a goal of under 100. [ female announcer ] crestor is not right for everyone. like people with liver disease or women who are nursing, pregnant or may become pregnant. tell your doctor about other medicines you're taking.
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call your doctor right away if you have muscle pain or weakness, feel unusually tired, have loss of appetite, upper belly pain, dark urine or yellowing of skin or eyes. these could be signs of rare but serious side effects. ♪ is your cholesterol at goal? talk to your doctor about crestor. [ female announcer ] if you can't afford your medication, astrazeneca may be able to help. i'm wolf blitzer. here are some of the stories we're working on for our next hour. mitt romney says president obama's, quote, leading from behind. a is he right? plus, new details on what joe biden is doing to prepare for this week's vice presidential debate. and a new equation is out to help you calculate how much money you'll need to save before retiring. stand by. you're in "the situation room."
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a major foreign policy speech by mitt romney today indicting president obama's handling of the middle east and attempting to get ahead on the issues before their next debate leading up to the election. >> i know the president hopes for a safer, freer and more prosperous middle east aligned with us. i share this hope. but hope is not a strategy. >> the obama campaign not wasting any time responding to mitt romney's foreign policy address. in a new television ad -- >> reckless, amateurish, that's what news media and fellow republicans called mitt romney's gaffe-filled july tour of israel and poland. >> it's too late in the campaign for mitt romney to really make big inroads on the issue of foreign policy. >> voters give the president a seven-point edge on world affairs. >> let's go to jessica yellin who's got a special panel with her. jessica? >> thanks so much. margaret hoover, let me go straight to you. i think mitt romney smells blood
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when it comes to foreign policy. but is it really warranted? >> he certainly had an opening to talk about it. and frankly they needed to do something. the first thing you're talking about with mitt romney and foreign policy had been this trip to europe, europe, poland, israel, the olympics hadn't gone so well. now they have something to talk about. how did it go? i think the main difference and what they strive to do is paint a contrast between them and the obama administration. the contrast becomes part of their posturing. how are we going to approach foreign policy differently? the posture is that obama's foreign policy is lead from behind, i think mitt romney is really lean forward. we're trying to use our influence in the middle east to -- but really we're trying to use our influence in the region to get the outcomes we want in order to shape the policies that we want, in order to receive the
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outcomes that we want in the middle east. >> let's be honest, posturing is what we've got here. was his speech heavy on detail or light on detail? >> i'm stealing this from someone on twitter who said the difference between romney and obama on foreign policy is romney says speak louder but carry the same stick. sort of teddy roosevelt line. what's striking in the speech is overall the differences between romney and obama on foreign policy are not actually that great. it's about how do we deal with the syrian rebels and romney's more forthright but still hedging about whether we're going to arm them and where do you draw the red line with iran. but you aren't getting a big contrast divisions overall. you're mostly getting a contrast of attitudes. i think it's striking on the two biggest decisions maybe of president obama's presidency were the surge in afghanistan and the decision to intervene in libya. and in both of them, i think
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there's actually some sort of obvious criticisms to be made. but they aren't hawkish criticisms. and because romney is taking a very hawkish line in this campaign, he can't really, i think, make the strongest possible criticisms of some of the president's decisions. so you're left with sort of a kind of attitude. i completely agree with margaret. it's sort of lean forward but the goals and strategies is actually relatively similar. >> i don't know if ross is a fan of james brown. but mitt romney reminded me today of that song when james brown, this great hit "talking loud and saying nothing." one year ago, mitt romney gave a speech at the citadel on foreign policy. it was billed and marketed as a huge speech. he will tell us how he would make the world a better place, how he would do things differently. and there wasn't a lot of meat there. once again, mitt romney had 23 minutes, he used 23 minutes, i counted them. and he basically said nothing. i agree with the president that we -- let's just get tougher with iran.
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we need to arm the rebels in syria, use third parties to help advance our case. he made some mistakes and blunders, of course. one mistake is that he said, this president's done nothing on free trade agreements. i guess south korea and panama, colombia -- >> didn't count for him. >> but overall, mitt romney is trying to prove -- this is his whole argument, that republicans are tougher when it comes to foreign policy. you know what? that's the old playbook. there's a new playbook because there's a new sheriff in town and that's barack obama. >> i think this was a real step backwards. last week he created an opening of how serious are you willing to make mitt romney? i think a lot of americans tuned into that debate and said, this guy seems serious. today reminded people of why they haven't taken them that seriously for the last couple of months. for a big foreign policy speech, it wasn't that big. it was foreign to the facts on the ground when you say i'm going to arm the syrian rebels. it shows a dangerous ignorance of exactly how this resistance is happening in syria, which is a deadly --
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>> how would you -- i'll defend romney now for a minute. how would you go about arming the syrian rebels without picking and choosing which faction to arm? >> that's the point. when you're in charge, you have to make difficult decisions. you can't have this cake and eat it, too, approach that he had last week on taxes. i'm going to have a huge tax cut for everyone but i don't have a plan. we're going to arm the good guys without the bad guys. i think he looks less serious in a speech when he's trying to talk about a way he would like the world to look -- >> latin america is another example. he had two sentences on latin america. that was hugo chavez. he didn't congratulate him on winning this weekend. but he -- >> i'm not sure he needed to. >> but two lines, two sentences on latin america, a great economic power down there, brazil, a company named after my own family. and no mention of brazil -- >> don't you think that this is the romney campaign trying to respond to what has frankly been
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a mix of sort of incompetence, blunders and inexplicable comments from the white house on libya the last few weeks and that's why the focus was on middle east. >> perhaps on mitt romney's failure to establish himself as a world-class leader when you go to great britain and basically insult the people there, insult the people in poland -- >> but -- >> he did talk about a two-state solution today. he didn't talk about that last time. so mitt romney made some advances this time. >> excellent, all right. >> he also had a couple of reversals. whenever you have mitt, you have to go into reverse just to see if he can go forward. but this was classic mitt romney, shallow. >> let me ask you about the ad the obama campaign put out today. before mitt romney took the stage, team obama was out with an ad attacking mitt romney for some of the blunders and gaffes he made before he went -- when he went to the london olympics, for his attack about the -- response to the libya attacks. it seemed sort of backward looking. >> i think that's exactly why mitt romney had to have this
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foreign policy speech today. he starts talking about what would he do? it means finding the al qaeda affiliates responsible for assassinating our ambassador. it's working with the arab league to identify people to help force assad out of power a year after president obama said, we want assad out of power. he has substantive things to talk about on the debate stage when they debate foreign policy in two weeks and that ad is now irrelevant. >> don't you think this is a case of him saying, i'll do the things the president is trying to do but do them more effectively? >> there's a fair case to make and there's an opening for that. >> i agree. i'm not saying that's a bad thing. >> there's an opening the size of a pin drop. he didn't lay out his strategy for peace in israel. on iran, the best he could come up with was, i'm going to get tougher on iran because i'm
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going to have tougher sanctions. >> when barack obama came to office, he said, i'm not george w. bush, so therefore, i can negotiate with iran. >> he said he would open up all doors but he wasn't going to give you a seat at the table unless you wanted to come and talk peace. >> we have unsolicited advice on the other side of the break including helpful hints for donald trump. stay with us. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] its lightweight construction makes it nimble... ♪ its road gripping performance makes it a cadillac.
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this is the time of the day when we give you our unsolicited advice, like it or not, here it comes. let's start with you, margaret. >> mine is ib spinspired by the fantasticic parody on "saturday night live." i think mitt romney should consider, hold out the option for the last week or two of the campaign to forget the parody, actually do "saturday night live." it might be that part of the campaign where you know so much about the candidates, a little bit of personalization, a little bit of mitt romney brg goofy could serve him well. i think he should considering hosting a "saturday night live" appearance. >> my advice is for a state legislators who don't get as much national media attention to do the numbers on the romney/ryan budget. you're looking at billions of dollars and less in investments in the states. about $4.5 billion less a year in ohio and in virginia alone.
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they're going to have to go out to constituents and explain why they're raising taxes or cutting benefits. huge implications for state and local budgets based on what's decided this year. and that's often what really hits the kitchen table more. >> i see you voted today. >> i did vote in virginia today. >> who did you vote for? that's the question. >> for president obama and for governor kaye. >> i'll take a more apolitical attack. bud selig and the powers that be in major league baseball. we had the debut of the one-game wild card playoff. baseball added an extra wild card this year. the very first game, the braves versus the cardinals, ended up being decided by a blown umpire's call in the eighth inning. and fans were throwing garbage on the field and it was a lousy error-ridden game to begin with. bud selig, this is a sign from the baseball gods, the one-game
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two wild card playoff is a terrible idea. you can't end baseball seasons with one-game playoffs unless the two teams actually have the same record. baseball isn't designed that way. i ask them to look at what happened last week, rethink this new strategy and come up with a different playoff format next year. and i'm not even a braves fan. i'm a completely -- >> if bud selig is watching -- >> he actually watches cnn all day. very strange. >> jessica, i know i have a brief amount of time, but drew brees, the saints won, please, whatever his wife cooked the night before, cook it next weekend. that was remarkable. number two, the washington nationals won their first playoff games. i want to go see the next one. so let's win it again so i can get me a free ticket. and lastly donald trump, mr. donald, not monkey business. when you create over 5.2 million jobs for 30 consecutive months, you're not cooking the books. you're really trying to improve things.
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besidz, besides, if he wanted to cook the books, he would add a little more meat and sauce. >> you're talking about the labor department -- >> stronger summer jobs reports than we had thought. >> i think we all pretty much established they didn't cook the books on that one. that is it for unslolicited advice. a brand-new poll that puts the republican nominee in the lead over president obama. st pi, brochures, posters copies of my acceptance speech. great! it's always good to have a backup plan, in case i get hit by a meteor. wow, your hair looks great. didn't realize they did photoshop here. hey, good call on those mugs. can't let 'em see what you're drinking. you know, i'm glad we're both running a nice, clean race. no need to get nasty.
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we're getting reaction just coming in from the romney campaign to this latest pew research center poll. these are likely voters nationally. right now, romney at 49%. obama at 45%. that's a significant shift from only a few weeks ago. same poll, likely voters at obama 51%. romney, 43%. that's a dramatic shift indeed. let's get the reaction, jim acosta is traveling with the republican presidential nominee. what are they saying, jim? >> reporter: wolf, i can tell you right now that mitt romney is standing behind me addressing an understandably small crowd of supporters here at newport news, virginia, it is raining buckets here. but that's not dampening the enthusiasm of the romney campaign. they feel very good about this poll that just came out from the pew research center, showing a four-point lead among likely voters for mitt romney over the president. that is a kind of poll that they have not seen in some time. so they're very happy about that.
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i got some instant response from a senior romney official who told me over an e-mail a few moments ago that they are encouraged by the enthusiasm that they're seeing from supporters who they call energized. we have been seeing that over the last several days at various campaign events. mitt romney's been sort of taking a victory lap through center battleground states and talk about how well he did in last week's debate against president obama. they also believe this is the result of undecided voters who are giving the former massachusetts governor a new look. and they also say that they are still working hard to bring home what they call persuadable voters. you can see that in the polling, one week president obama's up. now mitt romney is up. so there is, they think, a chunk of voters who can be turned one way or the other. but let's right now take a listen to what mitt romney is saying right now. he's going through a standard part of a stump speech on whaild what he would do to produce more domestic energy in this country. >> crack down on china if and when they cheat.
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number three, i'm going to make sure the training programs work for the workers today. we get our kids the education they need. i'm going to make sure that our parents and our kids and the teachers, they come first and the teachers union will have to come behind. number four, i will get us on track to a balanced budget and i will champion small business. i'll make sure our tax policies and our regulatory policies and health care, all these things come together to make it easier for small business to grow and thrive. we have to do that to get jobs going again because small businesses are where two-thirds of jobs are created. these five things will create 12 million jobs and bring rising take-home pay again. america needs this new direction. we cannot go in the path we've been on. we must restore america's strength andly do it with yo li
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your help. and i want you to know i'm confident this is going to happen. we're going to have good years ahead. the best is not in the past. the best is in the future. it's getting better. and i've seen that throughout my life. i've had the chance to witness the great qualities of the human spirit that i've seen in my fellow americans. in early times in my life and later, i was a relatively young man and serving as the pastor of my congregation, a part-time job in my church. and i happened to visit a family on a regular basis. he's a firefighter from medford, massachusetts, or was. he's retired now. they're son, age 14, developed leukemia. and was very, very ill. it was clear that he was not going to make it. i used to visit david. became close to him and on one occasion he brought me into his room. he was on his bed and he said to me, what comes next? and i spoke to him about what i believed comes next.
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another occasion, he was in the hospital and he got in touch with me, he said, you have a law degree, right? i said, yes, i do. he said, i'd like to write my will. so i went over to his hospital room and he proceeded to describe where he wanted his fishing rod to go and where he wanted his skateboard to go. and he wanted to give his rifle to his brother. throughout all of this, david had courage and strength of character. i'm reminded of that slogan, clear eyes, full hearts, can't lose. david didn't make it. but he did not lose. david is one of my heroes, one of the confidence builders that i have in america's future. i had the chance at the republican convention in tampa just a few weeks ago to meet a wonderful person, jane horton. jane's the wife of a shorpshootshorpshoot
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-- sharpshooter who went to afghanistan. there was a knock on her door telling her he'd been killed in afghanistan. this was at a time when misguided people are going to the funerals of our service members and protesting. she was asked what he thought about that as they were protesting her husband's funeral. and she said this, chris died so people like him can protest. this is the greatness of the human heart as demonstrated time and again among the american people. >> mitt romney getting emotional out there. he's been doing this even under drizzling rain that's going on in virginia right now. we're going to stay on top of this. we'll watch what's going on, bring you more highlights. but we have to take a quick break. other news we're following, behind the scenes of a death-defying world record attempt. a supersonic jump from the edge of space. is a complete multi-vitamin designed for men's health concerns as we age.
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hot to relax it away. so you're back to full speed. [ male announcer ] icy hot. power past pain. this is what a skydive from an incredible height looks like. but for daredevil felix baumgartner, this one was just a practice. one of the last he took before tomorrow's epic attempt to break a record. baumgartner could become the first person to break the sound barrier. cnn's brian todd is over at mission control in new mexico where he got a behind-the-scenes look at the operation. brian, tell our viewers what you saw. >> reporter: wolf, the hour is almost at hand. tomorrow morning, felix balm bartter in will try to set that record for the longest-ever freefall trying to break the speed of sound. the command center is behind me. we got access to it a short time ago. inside mission control,
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anticipation, raw nerves, intense focus. we get special access as art thompson, technical project director for the project, does his final preparation for a historic jump. >> they're thinking it's because it's -- it's pretty exciting. everybody's in place. we've tested all the equipment. the capsule is ready. >> reporter: it's here where felix baumgartner will be guided. the lead members sit here in fro front, talking to felix from this spot. everything's going to be on display on these monitors. even felix baumgartner's vital signs on display up here. go time on tuesday morning is at hand. baumgartner, an austrian skydiver, will attempt the longest-ever freefall from
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120,000 feet above the earth's surface. freefall will be for about 115,000 feet. then his parachute will deploy about 15,000 feet pup. but he will also try to break the speed of sound going more than 690 miles an hour. no one's ever done that outside a vehicle. we've been covering this mission for more than two years. when i spoke to baumgartner earlier this year, he discussed how focused he'll have to be at all times on his bearings and his instrument. is that something you'll regret? not having a philosophical moment while you're doing it. >> yeah. that's so bad, always makes me feel sad because you want to enjoy that moment. but you have to remember all the procedures. joe down in mission control is talking to you. you know you're in a hostile environment. and you cannot think about anything else. you have to be focused, otherwise you're going to die. >> reporter: i asked kitinger
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whose record from jumping from 102,000 feet has stood for 52 years, if he has a tinge of jealousy. >> he's advancing science and he'll do a great job. >> reporter: and that's key here. the records mean a lot. but what this team wants to get out of this is the scientific and aerospace advancements. they want to see if that suit that felix is going to wear is going to be the next generation spacesuit, to see if people can survive outside a space vehicle inside event of a malfunction. >> what a soir, brian, thank you. you're in "the situation room." happening now, mitt romney says president obama is leading from behind. but he isn't the first to use that description. we have the reporter who heard it first from a member of the obama administration. we also have inside information about vice president joe biden's preparations for his crucial debate with paul ryan. and depending on how old you are, you're going to find out how much money you will need to
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save right now to have a comfortable retirement. we want to welcome our viewers in the united states and around the world. i'm wolf blitzer. you're in "the situation room." we begin this hour with mitt romney's declaration that the united states must continue to shape world events in what his presidential campaign is labels as a major foreign policy address. romney outlined robust international policy that clearly rejects the isolationist voices in his own party. >> the responsibility of the president to use america's greatest power to shape history, not to lead from behind, leaving our destiny at the mercy of events. unfortunately, that's exactly where we find ourselves in the middle east under president obama.
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>> while romney criticized the president over and over, his speech called for some of the same policies, actually, as the obama administration. one notable exception, arming syrian rebels. >> i'll work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values. and then ensure that they obtain the arms they need to defeat assad's tanks and helicopters and fighter jets. >> romney also said there should be no daylight between the leaders of the united states and israel, especially when it comes to iran's quest for nuclear weapons. >> i'll put the leaders of iran on notice that the united states and our friends and allies will prevent them from acquiring nuclear weapons capability. >> our cnn correspondents in the middle east throughout the region, they are covering the global reaction to romney's speech. >> reporter: i'm reza sayah in
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islamabad. one iranian official responded to mr. romney's speech by jokingly asking, what's the difference between him and mr. obama? that question pretty much sums up iran's view on mr. romney, that his iran policy is no different than mr. obama's and mr. romney didn't do much to change that perception in iran after a speech that lacked specifics but was loaded with rhetoric and familiar tough talk. mr. romney said he'll put iran's leaders on notice, rhetoric mr. obama has used plenty of times. he also said he won't hesitate to impose sanctions. of course, mr. obama has already done that. it's been under his administration that western powers have delivered the toughest sanctions yet against iran. and here's the most glaring problem. economic sanctions, according to many not working, iran continues to enrich uranium, continues with what it calls its peaceful nuclear program and neither candidate seems to have any fresh ideas how to stop it. >> reporter: i'm nick paton
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walsh in beirut. mitt romney tried to assert himself as tough. trying to draw distinction to the obama administration over their approach to syria. he was clear he will be sure that syrian rebels got the weapons they need, the heavy weaponry they need to take on the assad regime's helicopter and tanks causing destruction on a daily basis. he also pointed out one of the major contradictions the white house is currently facing. he said the violent extremists are flowing into that particular conflict but pointed out the need to vet the kind of people this assistance would eventually go to. pointing out a key contradiction for anyone trying to intervene, how do you know the heavy weaponry you're supplying isn't going to end up in the hands of radicals who are actually your enemy? >> reporting for us, thank you.
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when mitt romney accuses president obama of leading from behind, he's actually repeating the words of an obama adviser as quoted in a very famous now april 2011 article in the "new yorker" magazine. ryan joins us now. i remember that article very well. give us the original. it was entitled "leaving from behind." but even more than a year and a half later, we hear mitt romney and a whole lot of other folks talking about it. >> the title of the article was "the consequentialist," about obama and his foreign policy. but an adviser to obama did use this phrase. i always hasten to add because i've been asked about this a lot in the last year as republicans have seized on that phrase. it was used to mean a very, very specific context. that is when the obama administration was trying to pass a resolution at the united nations to authorize the use of
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force to basically save benghazi but to take out gadhafi's tanks gathering around the city of benghazi in libya, they were worried if an american face was on that operation, if it was too much seen as america leading another war in the middle east, that they might not pass that resolution in the united nations security council. and so the idea was they needed to put some of the arab and other countries out in front and that the obama administration needed to lead from behind in passing that united nations resolution. so that was the context. i always thought, frankly, it was simply a matter of strategy, the phrase to me was always a little bit more machiavellian rather than announcing that they weren't going to take a leadership role in the world. of course, politically it's not something you would necessarily brand your foreign policy with. and republicans have really seized on it almost immediately
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and every republican has used it to slam obama ever since. but i hasten to add the specific context is very different than what most republicans describe. >> the article was an excellent article. i remember it well. you and i were on that same trip to north africa at the time the consequentialist, how the arab spring remade obama's foreign policy. but you did post a blog entitled "leading from behind" because you were getting a lot of reaction, a lot of questions about that. i take thit that -- i have it i front of me. but you're not at liberty to tell us who that obama administration official was who coin that had phrase? >> i'm not, wolf, of course, i'm not. >> i just want to make sure. i'm going to get a lot of questions. why can't you ask him who said that? i did and it's a confidential comment that someone made to a journalist. we don't reveal our confidential sources. >> yeah. >> did you ever expect it to generate the kind of negative uproar for the president that it
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clearly has? >> i knew it might be a little controversial because i know in politics how things sound and how one side seizes on the other side. what's really been shocking to me is how almost no one that uses the phrase actually remembers the original context. many republicans that i talk to actually didn't even read the original article but only read references to it after the fact. an example, i was covering the michele bachmann campaign and she gave a speech and like a lot of republicans she said she doesn't want obama to lead from behind anymore. i got on the campaign plane with her, flew from iowa to new hampshire and asked her press secretary if she knew where that comment came from. she didn't know. i showed her the article and she explained it to michele bachmann and the senior staff. in the next round of the speech, the phrase disappeared. that's the kind of thing i encountered quite a bit.
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a lot of folks don't remember the original context. >> that's why i wanted to bring you on the show, to bring the original context, especially on a day when mitt romney is talking about the president leading from behind. let me pick your brain on this pew research center poll that has now come out. this is a poll taken entirely since the last presidential -- the first presidential debate. obama now at 45%, romney at 49%. that's a significant shift from before the debate when the president was ahead by eight points, 51% to 43%. but let's dig a little bit deeper right now. this question, all likely voters who were asked answered, obama doesn't know how to turn the economy around, do you agree or disagree? 54% said they agree with that. 44% they say disagree. that sounds like trouble for the president's reelection campaign. >> that does. that number -- first of all, the top-line numbers are surprising because i believe pew has been a
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pr pre-pro obama poll. pew's been pretty good for obama. the top-line numbers are really surprising. have to see if other polls show the same thing. but as you point out, that's the key number, the economy. how does obama get out of this box of voters being not happy with the economy? but up until now, willing to perhaps give him another chance. i'm surprised. i'm surprised the debate turned things around, if they indeed have, that quickly. obama has two more debates to turn things back. so shouldn't get too excited by one poll. but this is the best news the romney camp has had in probably over a month. >> certainly is. but you're absolutely right, this is one national poll. there will be several more likely voters out there, even more important than the national poll members will be the battleground state polls in ohio and florida and virginia. we'll see what they show as well. ryan, thanks very much for coming in. >> thank you, wolf. appreciate it. we're only three days away
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from another milestone in the presidential race. with all eyes turning to the debate between vice president joe biden and republican nominee paul ryan after the president's weak showing in the first debate with mitt romney. let's bring in our chief white house correspondent, jessica yellin. she's been doing reporting on this. what are you hearing? thursday night, it's going to be a good debate, i am sure. >> i am sure it will be. vice president biden is in wilmington, delaware, right now for his own debate camp, ahead of the big night in kentucky thursday night. his prep is being run by the same man who ran president obama's debate prep, ron klain. the vice president's former chief of staff, a trained lawyer and one of the democratic party's most experienced debate experts. also there is david axelrod. but i'm told they're not altering the people who have been planning to advise the vice president at his debate prep. and they're not altering the message in the wake of the president's performance last week. vice president biden has always
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been sort of the attack dog on the campaign. and i'm told by senior democrats they don't expect, no one expects the vice president to sort of make up for the president's performance last week. >> any more reaction from the obama folks to the president's first debate performance? >> well, i do understand that they did have this conference call after the president's -- as the debate was wrapping up, some of his senior advisors got on a call and started trying to figure out what they're message was going to be. the one theme i've heard consistently is they feel like this big bird attack, believe it or not, is the message that's breaking through. romney went after big bird and you've heard president on the stump saying over and over that mitt romney wants to relax rules on wall street but go after sesame street. they insist this is the one thing that's broken through in the debate. not so sure that that's right. but they really feel like that's
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a message that they can at least walk away with until the next debate. >> we'll see. >> we'll see. >> we'll see how biden does thursday night as well against paul ryan. jessica, thank you. >> he usually doesn't make gaffes at debates. we'll see. >> i'm sure he'll be well prepared. his calendar is clear. he's doing nothing but preparing, practice, practice, practice, which is something the president clearly should have done a little bit more of. we'll have a closer look at what president obama's supporters are now doing to make sure he wins again in a crucial battleground state. stand by for that. john king will be reporting. and it looks like a man in the united states considers a dangerous nuisance will be around for a while longer. there are patients who will question,
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an impressive victory for venezuela's socialist leader hugo chavez, reelected president for a fourth straight term. chavez clinched more than 54% of the vote in the closely watched election. the white house is congratulating the venezuelan
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people on the process. but it's raising serious questions about what another six years will mean for venezuela's already tenuous relationship with the united states. paula newton is joining us from caracas. we heard mitt romney mention hugo chavez in his major foreign policy speech today. what do you think we can expect from this newly reelected leader of venezuela? >> reporter: well, not much new in his policies, which means american oil firms will continue to be shut out of this country. but hugo chavez loves to basically needle any american president. he basically uses it as a platform to say, look, we need independence from the so-called imperialists. so considering the united states gets almost 9% of its gas and oil from venezuela every year, it is the largest producer of oil in the hemisphere. hugo chavez wants to be paid attention to.
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i don't expect him to be pivoting in any way radically from what he did before. it plays well in caracas. it plays well in venezuela. he is going to continue to be very provocative with the united states no matter who wins the election. >> you heard him say he would vote for obama as opposed to romney. why does he think obama is better than romney? >> reporter: you know, he called obama rational a few nights ago. to univision, president barack obama in a spanish language interview said, we do not see anything that venezuela is doing against the u.s. national interest. that goes against what republicans, including senator marco rubio, has said clearly and loudly. venezuela supports syria. venezuela supports iran. they could, in fact, be supporting hezbollah here in the country, although there isn't any concrete proof of that. those people, the republicans are saying, look, pay attention to venezuela.
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we need to understand what they're doing in this hemisph e hemisphere. >> paula newton, thanks very much. a notorious self-confessed killer reportedly about to become a father behind bars. we have details on that and a lot more news coming up here in "the situation room." in keeping the denture clean. dentures are very different to real teeth. they're about 10 times softer and may have surface pores where bacteria can multiply. polident is designed to clean dentures daily. its unique micro-clean formula kills 99.9% of odor causing bacteria and helps dissolve stains, cleaning in a better way than brushing with toothpaste. that's why i recommend using polident. [ male announcer ] polident. cleaner, fresher and brighter every day. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people
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former penn state coach and convicted child abuser jerry sandusky set to be sentenced tomorrow. lisa sylvester is monitoring that and the other top stories in "the situation room" right now. what's the latest? >> sandusky's attorney tells cnn that his client will speak and claim his innocence at tomorrow's sentencing hearing and that he's been writing a statement in prison. the 68-year-old former penn state football coach could face
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life in prison on 45 counts of child sex abuse. a jury found that he used his access to school facilities to abuse ten boys over a 15-year period. and the man arrested but never charged in natalee holloway's 2005 disappearance is in the news again. joran van der sloot is in prison for the murder of stefani flores in peru and he may soon be a father. he met the expectant mother behind bars and became pregnant after an unsupervised visit. and the $11.7 million win has been reported to the gambling commission saying the payout is being withheld. he hit a two-night winning streak at the casino in august. details have not been released and there's been no comment from any of the parties involved. and london police are looking for the vandal who
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defaced a paining in the modern art gallery. a man used a brush to apply a small area of black paint to one of the murals originally commissioned in the 1950s. people in the gallery saw it happen but the vandal still managed to get away. that is just awful. it's really hard just to look at that. >> they have to keep these paintings away from individual. i know we want to get up close and see them. but it's too dangerous, there's crazy people out there who do these kinds of things. >> and there's just a few that ruin it for everybody else. seitz so needless. >> keep people away. the only thing to do. thank you. out on the campaign trail, we're seeing something new and a little bit surprising from mitt romney. our strategy session, getting ready to take a closer look at why she's showing voters his softer side. yo, give it up, dude!
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is engineered to amaze. i"i'm not in favor of a a$5 trillion tax cut. that's not my plan." mitchell: "the nonpartisan tax policy center concluded that mitt romney's tax plan would cost $4.8 trillion over 10 years." vo: why won't romney level with us about his tax plan, which gives the wealthy huge new tax breaks? because according to experts, he'd have to raise taxes on the middle class - or increase the deficit to pay for it. if we can't trust him here... how could we ever trust him here?
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and the candidate's speech is in pieces all over the district. the writer's desktop and the coordinator's phone are working on a joke with local color. the secure cloud just received a revised intro from the strategist's tablet. and while i make my way into the venue, the candidate will be rehearsing off of his phone. [ candidate ] and thanks to every young face i see out there. [ woman ] his phone is one of his biggest supporters. [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center... working together has never worked so well.
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joining us, the democratic strategist hilary rosen and republican strategist john feri. seeing a softer side of mitt romney, telling personal stories we haven't heard him do in the past. let me play a little clip. >> so i put my hand on his shoulder and i reached over and i said, billy, i love you and god bless you. it was a great occasion to say hi to my good friend. and he passed away the next day. and i thought, what a blessing it was for me to see him on that last day and acknowledge to him my respect for him. >> why do you think he's doing this? in the past, he really hasn't opened up personally like that. very emotional story. >> i think there's been a caricature of mitt romney. i think he's trying to expose people to who he really is. i think there's been some reluctance to talk about his religious faith. we're getting closer to the end of the election. i think it's time for people to
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understand he's a really nice guy, he's a good guy. all these caricatures of him are not accurate. and when people get a better view of who mitt romney is, i think people want to vote for him. >> what do you think of this new strategy? >> it's nice. good for mitt romney. i think it's smart for him to do. >> does it impact voters out there? >> sure. >> to see a little softer side? >> not only impacts voters but it energizes him, clearly. i think that since the debate, we've seen a new mitt romney. and president obama's clearly got to up his game in terms of the enthusiasm, in terms of the fighting for the american people. i think the policies are on the president's side. when you poll the issues that the president stands for and that mitt romney stands for, people actually know that the president is on their side more than mitt romney is in terms of the middle class. but mitt romney is trying harder right now in people's minds. >> seems to be a little bit more confident after that first presidential debate.
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there's another debate as all of us know, thursday night, vice presidential debate. the vice president joe biden will face paul ryan, his republican challenger. listen to paul ryan speaking to one of our affiliates, wtmj. listen to this. >> we think he's probably going to come at me like a cannonball. more pressure because mitt romney put such a great performance that the bar is pretty high. there's also pressure because joe biden's been doing this for 40 years. the man ran for president twice. he's the sitting vice president. this is my first time on this kind of a stage, so sure. there's a lot of pressure. joe biden's very experienced at this. and i think that's right. because of the lack of momentum they have, because of the president's terrible performance, because mitt romney did such a good job of giving the country a choice, i don't think they have any choice but to have joe biden come right at me. >> hilary? >> i think there is pressure on joe biden to deliver a big performance. but i actually think there's more pressure on paul ryan because there were so many times
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in the debate where mitt romney kind of got -- changed the facts from the policies he's said. whether it was how he's going to make his tax cut revenue-neutral. whether he's going -- whether the president's medicare proposal is actually a cut in medicare. paul ryan was the chair of the house budget committee. it would be an affront to him not to have accurate, factual details on these issues the way that romney got away with not having. >> paul ryan knows numbers, statistics, stuff like that. >> he does. it's going to be interesting. there's a generational divide. you have the two irish catholics, one older, one younger. i think it would be a good debate. joe biden's been at this for many, many years. this is paul ryan's first rodeo. i do think there's pressure on both of them. i think in many ways, the vice presidential debate doesn't mean much.
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you think about the biggest blowout in history was dan quayle against his challenger and george bush still won. >> the one place that could mean something, there's been this, for lack of a better word, the back-and-forth within the press and within the candidates' campaigns about this tax cut, whether you actually can achieve the balanced budget that mitt romney is promising. i think he's making a lot of false promises. but it will be interesting to see whether the vice presidential debate actually sheds light on that and whether it moves the issue forward in any significant way for people. >> from my perspective, i think that paul ryan has spent having to sell this plan for a long time because he's in a district that's marginally public but primarily democratic. he's been able to sell the plan. i think he's going to be more effectively able to sell it than anybody else. >> but biden has done these national debates, ryan hasn't. so it's a big challenge for the
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much younger republican vice presidential nominee. this new pew research poll generating a lot of buzz. all of this taken after the debate. romney ahead 49%, 45%. before the debate, obama ahead 51% to 43%. there's a lot of debates, polls, accurate snapshots, we want to see more polls. we want to see state polls. but this could be a jolt to the -- if other polls back this up, hilary, this will be a jolt to the obama campaign. >> yeah. now it's the democrats' turn to talk about how polls don't matter, right? >> we're already hearing about the number of democrats versus the republicans. >> i just have always thought this would go right down to the wire. we clearly have a close election here. over the next few day, seeing what some of these individual battleground states are doing, some of those polls are coming out in the next few days. maybe more meaning than the
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national poll. but there's no question that the american people are looking to president obama now to fight a little harder for him and to get a little more -- >> let me show you the gallup tracking poll numbers as well. these are over the past seven days. half of this poll was done before the debate, some afterwards. if you add them all up, you see 50% to 45%. but right now in the last few days, it's been narrowed to 47% to 47% since the debate. so clearly the republican has gotten a little bounce out of this. >> first of all, i agree with hilary. i don't think these polls mean that much except for establishing a narrative. the narrative now that's being established is mitt romney's coming back after his great debate performance. that gives more enthusiasm to the republicans and it makes the democrats feel, you know, a little bit off their game a little bit less enthusiastic. i think you see that in other polls. we'll see what happens. i think mostly at the end of the day, what matters is how well you turn out your voters. we all know it's going to be a close election.
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>> that ground game, especially in ohio and florida and virginia, colorado, that ground game, the republicans were very good at it two years ago, as you well remember. >> and i feel really good about whether the obama organization is, more volunteers than ever are coming forward. look, for the last couple of elections, whoever won the first debate did not win the election. i think voters really will see where president obama is on their side, that we just had a good jobs report. we have 31 months of straight employment growth. we are definitely trending right. >> i think people want a change. i think they want a better economy in the future and they want a vision for the future which they're not getting from president obama. >> speaking about a vision for the future, congratulations to you. >> thank you very much. >> that's so nice. >> molly kate, mom and molly are at home right now. >> are they watching? >> molly's watching every step. >> i'm sure she loves "the situation room." >> she watches it every day. >> congratulations. >> thank you very much. we're taking you to a
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battleground state that president obama won in 2008. stand by. you're going to see what his supporters are doing to try to make sure he holds on to it this time around even though they concede it will not be easy. i'm an expert on softball. and tea parties. i'll have more awkward conversations than i'm equipped for because i'm raising two girls on my own. i'll worry about the economy more than a few times before they're grown. but it's for them, so i've found a way. who matters most to you says the most about you. massmutual is owned by our policyholders so they matter most to us. massmutual. we'll help you get there. anne's tablet called my phone. anne's tablet was chatting with a tablet in sydney... a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil.
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that new post-debate national poll by the pew research center shows mitt romney now leading president obama among likely voters nationwide by four points. 49% to 45%. but a separate post-debate poll
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in the critically important swing state of colorado shows the president clinging to a narrow lead. our chief national correspondent john king is here in "the situation room." you spent the last few days out there in colorado taking a closer look at what's going. what did you see? >> the president's ahead but that's within the margin of error. in the last five presidential elections, colorado, three times for republican, two times for a democrat. four weeks to go. it's still a toss-up. maria sanchez was part of history four years ago, urging latinos to help make barack obama president. it's different this time around. harder. >> some people are still very excited and others say, i don't know. well, i haven't made up my mind. >> reporter: less hype about the obama campaign this time, she says, and less hope about the candidate. >> it's a little bit harder because sometimes some of them say, well, i don't know who to vote for, these two evils.
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>> reporter: latinos were 13% of the vote in battleground colorado four years ago. and any dip in their support for the president or a drop in turnout could shift this classic swing state. >> this is one of his songs that's so moving and so powerful. >> reporter: evangelicals are to mitt romney what latinos are to barack obama. white evangelicals made up 23% of colorado's vote in 2008. >> think about life, think about liberty, think about character. and then cast your ballot. >> reporter: this pastor adds a plug to vote to every subd's sermon. >> the most surprising thing is the frustration of many of them with both candidates and the frustration of not wanting to vote for either. >> reporter: he predicts economic worries will equal a big colorado evangelical boost for romney. >> i suspect you're going to see a far greater turnout than you did in 2008.
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>> this is your section. >> reporter: turnout is the overwhelming focus of both campaigns now, including this week's deadline to register new voters. >> all that matters is to get the votes in for the president. >> reporter: a few months back, mike stratton was worried, less so now. >> i would say that organizational and enthusiasm factor, the democrats are sort of peaking at the right time. >> reporter: the denver suburbs are critical if it's close. and stratton sees an obama edge among suburban women. >> women are troubled by this sort of regressive view that the republicans have about birth control and planned parenthood. >> reporter: but the economy dominates a close race here. a new university of denver poll shows the president with a tiny lead statewide. governor romney has the edge, though, when voters are asked who would do a better job with the economy. >> can i ask you a couple of questions about the upcoming election? >> before the concept of red and blue, before the concept of purple, you remember they called colorado a ticket splitter
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state. it will be close in colorado. regardless. we're at ground zero in the american presidential election. >> ground zero, mike stratton calls it. nine electoral votes. it could be decisive. more than $33 million spent already on tv ads in colorado and planned parenthood announcing more spending there to go after the suburban women. it's not just the candidates. turn on the tv in colorado, boom. >> both campaigns are spending a lot of money in colorado, not just the super pacs but the campaigns as well. >> $33 million is smashing all the records in that state. both campaigns, the super pac allies and interest groups, planned parenthood going after the suburban women that the democrats think if latinos turn out, if evangelicals turn out, all things being equal, comes down to women. >> and the university of denver poll you referred to was done
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since the debate in denver. >> it was two days after the debate. >> thanks very much. john king reporting. a major wake-up call for anyone who's put off thinking about retirement. up next, what one investment firm now says is the magic amount of money you should have saved. stand by. ♪ lord, you got no reason ♪ you got no right ♪ ♪ i find myself at the wrong place ♪ [ male announcer ] the ram 1500 express. ♪ it says a lot about you. ♪ in a deep, hemi-rumble sort of way. guts. glory. ram. try this... bayer? this isn't just a headache. trust me, this is new bayer migraine. [ male announcer ] it's the power of aspirin plus more in a triple action formula to relieve your tough migraines. new bayer migraine formula.
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next story has a lot of people in our newsroom talking. exactly how much money should you have saved when you retire? fidelity came up with a magic number. it's a big wake-up call for a lot of people doing the math. lisa sylvester is taking a closer look. >> everybody wants to know, how much do i need to save for retirement? eight is the imagine irk number, according to fidelity investments.
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fidelity says the average worker needs to try to save at least eight times their salary to have enough in retirement. let's say you have bob, he's 25 years old earning $40,000 a year. not bad for someone only a few years out of college. he starts saving 6% of earnings and gradually building up to 12% of his income saved. his salary increases over time to $74,000 and he retires with enough money, about $600,000 at 67. to get there, fidelity says workers should have saved up one times their salary at age 35. three times their salary at age 45, five times their salary at age 55 and eight times their salary at retirement age. so how are workers stacking up? >> i would love to be able to save that. but i think with the economy the way it is, it would take me a very, very long time. >> i'm kind of banking on my
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salary increasing as i get older and having less student loan debt. >> reporter: fidelity wants particularly young workers to think about saving now. and fidelity built its model with several rosy assumptions like bob will work continuously for the next 42 years, that he will earn a rate of return of 5.5% year in and year out and that he starts saving right away. everyone knows how early you start can make a huge difference. let's take joan, 38 years old and married with two kids. she earns $82,000 a year, paying a mortgage and trying to save for her kids' college. joan only has $20,000 in her 401(k) retirement fund. she's contributing $300 a month to her 401(k) but using fidelity's online calculator, she'll need $2.5 million at retirement. and she has plenty of catching up to do. fidelity wanted a single easy number to grasp but the truth
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is, it depends on a person's individual situation. >> when you're planning for retirement, there are a lot of different variables. there's how much do you save each year, how much do you earn on the money that you're saving and then investing? what age do you retire? if you postpone retirement by a couple of years, you get a much larger social security check. >> reporter: data most people have work to do but the key thing is don't be frightened by the numbers. just start now. >> even a small amount of money, you know, perfect example is 401(k) plan. a lot of employers offer the plan and sometimes a match for the 401(k) plan. that's free money leaving on the table if you don't take advantage of this. >> fidelity admits a simplified formula but that's the point. they don't want people scared off by all of the numbers. you can save more than you think because of one word. compounding and the earlier you start, the more your money grows and heard it time and time again and doesn't matter in your 20s,
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30s, 40s. it is not too late to start, wolf. >> good idea. good investment. good compounding. thank you. it's not unusual to get a ticket for running a red light but in new york city right now it's yellow light that has some drivers crying foul. here's cnn's elina cho. >> reporter: hi, wolf. as you can see right there, there is a camera designed to catch people running red lights but what if you didn't have time to get through the intersection because the yellow is too short? aaa say that is's what's happening across new york city and begs the question, is it a scam? the "the new york post" calls it a red-light scam. would you go so far as to say this is a rack sunset. >> well, let's just say in our region it seems whenever municipalitie municipalities, the city or state is cash starved, the motorist is a path of first resort. >> reporter: aaa looked at two
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dozen intersections in and around new york city and found, yes, the pesky yellow lights that seem too short actually are. in the intersections you looked at, how many in your estimation had yellow lights that were too short? >> in new york city, 100%. >> reporter: 100%? how short? >> we found in general anywhere from 2.5 to 2.8 second. >> reporter: aaa says with gotcha cams there's 170 in new york city have become a revenue cash cow. according to one report, in the past five years, tickets from red light cameras generated $235 million, 47.2 million in just the past year. there is no legal requirement for the length of a yellow light but in general the prevailing view is that it should be about one second for every 10 miles per hour on the speed limit. in manhattan, the speed limit is 30 miles per hour so that's 3 seconds for a yellow light but here at this intersection, we
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timed it and it's less. 2.5 seconds. >> my understanding from reading the article is that you found four out of 12,000 that were off a couple of tenths of a second. >> reporter: the city's department of transportation commissioner adds, this study is bogus and the real victims here are the new yorkers who lost their lives in red light running crash crashes. but on the streets of new york city -- >> we have someone who's trying to just generate revenue on working people's back. plain and simple. >> reporter: the d.o.t. says the cameras operate on a .3-second delay and any minor variations won't result in a ticket. aaa says what's the harm of lengthening a yellow light? it gives motorists more time to go through without worrying about a rear-end crash. wolf? >> thanks very much. ken burns is subpoenaed for a film he did involving a notorious rape case. yeah.
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new york city's embroiled in a heated legal battle with filmmaker ken burns over the five men convicted and later exonerated in the 1989 rape and attempted murder of the so-called central park jogger. here's cnn's international correspondent susan kand ocandi >> reporter: this latest documentary tells the story of five black and latino teenagers. they were convicted of raping and brutally beating a white female jogger in new york's central park in 1989. >> it was this huge media story. there was a lot of coverage but everyone got it wrong at that time.
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>> she was hollering, like, help, help. >> reporter: the five teenagers confessed to the crime after what they said was an unfair interrogation. they were charged even though none was a match for a dna sample found at the scene. turns out it belonged to this man. >> he commits at least five more rapes that we know of after the central park jogger. >> reporter: the rapist did not confess until after the five teens already had served sentences ranging from seven to 11 years. a judge threw out the convictions. >> the verdicts have been set aside in their entirety. >> reporter: a victory for the five men. salam now 38 was one of them. >> after being xn rated, it's almost like someone running free through the grass and just throwing their hands up yelling. >> reporter: harder to overturn but public perception. the case enflamed racial tensions in the city.
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the teens were called animals and savages. donald trump took out a full-page ad asking to bring back the death penalty. >> if they had their ways, we would be hanging from some of these lovely trees in central park. >> reporter: they filed a federal lawsuit accusing the city of violating the civil rights by coercing their confessions. the city defended the way it conducted the investigation. and now its lawyers are seeking outtakes of the burns documentary to bolster its case. the filmmakers refuse citing shield laws. >> we believe we're protected under the shield laws as journalists and we don't think it's fair for the government to intrude in our research. >> reporter: a lawyer for the city says the film isn't journalism because it advocates for the five. in a statement the say says, quote, if the plaintiffs truly want an open airing of the facts they should encourage the filmmakers not to hide anything. the filmmakers claim the
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documentary claims to the facts. what do you take of the city? tie city needs to stop dragging their feet. we were innocent and this is -- this is just going to continue to further restate that. >> reporter: salam says no matter the outcome. he may never fully escape his nightmare that started in this park. susan candiotti, cnn, new york. >> as for the central park jogger herself, she's gone to become a motivational speaker, author of the book "i am the central park jogger." happening now in a major speech mitt romney says the middle east is more dangerous under president obama. two chinese businesses trying to expand in the united states. why they could be a threat to national security. plus, attempting history from the edge of space. i'm wolf blitzer.
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you're in "the situation room." a post-debate surge in a highly regarded poll for mitt romney. the presidential nominee leading president obama. take a look at these numbers just out from the pew research center. romney, four points ahead of the president in this pew research center survey of likely voters nationwide. that's a major turnaround from just three weeks ago when the same poll had president obama ahead by eight points. but the obama campaign is pushing back, pointing out that the most recent survey included more republicans in the survey than the one they conducted back in september. and a gallup poll conducted before and after the debate shows the president still in the
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lead 50% to 45%. let's bring in our national political correspondent jim acosta traveling with romney in newport news, virginia. jim, when's the campaign's reaction to this new pew poll? >> reporter: well, wolf, i had a chance to get a brief take of a senior romney official about the new poll numbers from the pew research center and they say they're encouraged by what they believe is evidence of their supporters being energized after last week's presidential debate. they also feel like they're undecided voters giving the former massachusetts governor a new look after what happened in the first encounter with president obama last week in denver. meanwhile, all of this good campaign news comes as mitt romney is trying once again to draw a sharp contrast with the president on the issue of national security. telling a crowd of cadets and supporters at the virginia military institute that hope is not a strategy on foreign policy mitt romney wasted no time in
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building his case that the middle east has grown more dangerous under president obama's watch. and exhibit an is last month's attack leaving a u.s. ambassador dead at the american consulate in libya. >> the attacks on last month should not be seen as random acts. they're expressions of a struggle playing out across the middle east. >> reporter: romney then seized on the recent violence in syria and the potential for an iranian nuclear weapon and issuing a dire warning that war in the region could be on the horizon. >> it's clear that risk of war in the region is higher now than when the president took office. >> reporter: he pledged to get tough reversing looming defense cuts coming at the end of the year, threatening to impose possible new sanctions on iran and by looking for ways to arm the rebels in syria. romney also said he would pursue
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a two-state solution between the israelis and palestinians, a concept to diminish at a fund-raiser secretly recorded and leaked to mother jones magazine. >> there's no purl purpose and committed to the destruction and elimination of israel and these thorny issues i say, there's no way. >> reckless. amateurish. >> reporter: the obama campaign tried to get the jump on the speech releasing a new ad reminding voters of the republican candidate's gaffe-plagued foreign trip over the summer. romney, obama aides say, is no ronald reagan. more like chevy chase. >> kids, big ben. parliament. >> reporter: combatting that image, romney met with retired generals after the speech. the campaign argued on a conference call the romney approach is muscular and bipartis bipartisan. >> if you look at harry truman and john kennedy and the use of power by bill clinton in his
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second term, that is a much different approach than jimmy carter and barack obama. >> reporter: to put his vision in to action, romney will have to win first which explains why he made a stop at a nearby elementary school. at this stage of the race, the pictures can matter almost as much as the policies. now, romney did mention what has been the obama campaign's trump card on foreign policy, the killing of osama bin laden and seemed to give the credit to, quote, military and intelligence professionals and, wolf, back to the poll. i talked to another romney aide about the poll numbers showing mitt romney up by four points over the president. they were expressing that aide expressing some caution about this poll number saying they would have preferred that number coming out on november 4th. not on october 8th. wolf? >> all right. thanks very much for that, jim acosta. mitt romney's call to arm syrian
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rebels could level the playing field in the country's civil war and put weapons in the hands potentially of 2riterrorists. pentagon correspondent chris stewart is worki in lawrence is working this side of story. >> reporter: this is a major difference. governor romney is advocating for an aggressive american approach to syria. it carries a reward in that if and when bashar al assad falls, the americans and the united states would really have a seat at the table as to what comes next but the risk is that some of the arms that could flow in to syria could be in the hands of terrorists. in a mitt romney administration, the u.s. could be fighting a proxy war with iran in syria. governor romney said monday that iran is sending arms to syria because bashar al assad's downfall is a strategic defeat for teheran.
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>> we should be working no less vigorously through the international partners to support the many syrians who would deliver that defeat to iran rather than sitting on the sidelines. >> reporter: romney promised that as president he'd make sure syrian rebels were armed with heavy weapons. >> i'll work with our partners to identify and originalize those members of the opposition who share our values and then ensure they have the weapons to defeat the helicopters and fighter jets. >> reporter: the problem is finding those who quote share our values is not as easy as it seems. after nearly 100 civilians were killed in an attack in may, governor romney stated, the massacre of civilians in how la, many of them young children is horrific. the u.s. should work with partners to organize and arm syrian opposition groups so they can defend themselves. while a u.n. investigation found
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regime forces most likely responsible for the killings and said that rebel forces were also guilty of murder and torture and several radical islamic groups emerged in syria. president obama recently promised to send the syrian rebels another $45 million. the u.s. already shipped food, medicine and communications gear but no lethal weapons. some former military officials say it is time to do more. >> that does not mean the u.s. should put boots on the ground. but our leadership should be felt, it should be visible. >> reporter: now, by most estimates, the syrian regime has thousands of battle tanks and a regular supply of ammunition of iran to fight that kind of armament you're talking about giving the rebels things like shoulder-fired rockets and there is a concern that sending those types of weapons in could fall in to the hands of terrorists. that's the big difference with
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president obama's regime or his administration i should say. he's been advocating trying to keep it a low intensity conflict, keeping it confined within syria's borders and the fighting to mostly small arms, not the heavy weapons that governor romney would want to see introduced to the rebels in order to give them a chance against assad's regime. wolf? >> chris lawrence with that explanation. thanks for that report. the obama campaign certainly isn't wasting time hitting back. kate baldwin is monitoring, that other top stories. when's going on wolf, the president is on a fund raising swing through california. which is white house correspondent dan lothian traveling with the president and has more on this. dan, when's the latest? >> reporter: the campaign came out swinging pretty hard. the president not weighed in, reacting to romney's speech, but last night during a big fund-raiser in los angeles, the president flexing the foreign
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policy muscles talking about how he's winding down the war in afghanistan, gone after terrorists, how he got osama bin laden and evidence the campaign says of the president's strong leadership. as president obama honored civil rights icons chavez with a new national monument -- >> the movement he helped to lead was you stained by a generation of organizers who stood up and spoke out and urged others to do the same. >> reporter: his campaign worked to shred gop nominee mitt romney's foreign policy chops rolling out a hard-itting web ad reminding voters of stumbles on the world stage. >> governor romney not too long ago said the russian federation is a number one threat. come on. think. it isn't the case. >> reporter: and this tv ad now running in the important battleground state of virginia. >> when our u.s. diplomats were attacked in libya, "the new york
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times" said the response showed a lack of presidential character. >> reporter: the campaign concludes governor romney has failed the commander in chief test, to reinforce that message, a conference call with former secretary of state albright and campaign spokesman ben la bowl. >> changed his mind on a number of different issues in terms of libya, for instance. i mean, first he was for the intervention. now he's against it. it's unclear where he is on syria. >> behind the tough talk he's been erratic, unsteady and irresponsible in the audience on the world view. >> reporter: from the views on iraq, to the middle east, the obama campaign says the mitt romney foreign policy speech quote free of substance. the recent unrest in egypt and libya ginn the gop nomine a chance to draw a contrast. but experts observe taking on an
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couple bent president comes with fundamental disadvantages. >> i mean the president doing this day in and day out, getting the intelligence briefings, working with all of the cabinet secretaries, working with his staff. for romney, he has to learn this every day and it all seems a little bit abstract. for the president, might have been abstract four years ago. it sure isn't now. >> reporter: now, as for those new poll number it is obama campaign says that the state of the race remains what it's always been, quote, close and competitive in the key battleground states leaning toward the president. kate? >> be sure to keep tracking the polls and see just how close it is as we approach november. dan lothian with the president this evening, thanks so much, dan. and go ahead. foreign policy battle continues right here in the "situation room" later this hour with a top adviser from each campaign to join us live. looking forward to that. >> two senior representatives
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from both campaigns. >> yep. we're also following two chinese telecommunications giants, both labeled potential threat to u.s. national threat. we have details of a warning coming in from the house intelligence committee.
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there are two of the biggest telecommunications companies in the world and u.s. lawmakers are warning they may be trojan
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horses for the chinese government and a possible cyber war. our foreign affairs correspondent jill dougherty is following the story for us. jill, what exactly is the house intelligence committee saying about these chinese companies? >> reporter: well, start with what they're not saying, wolf. they're not saying they have a smoking gun they didn't provide adequate information on the operations in the united states or connections to the chinese mill. the two chinese telecommunications companies could be a threat to the national security of the united states. that's the conclusion by the house intelligence committee after a yearlong probe of huawei and zte. >> we do not have the confidence that these two companies with the ties to the chinese government are trusted with infrastructure. >> reporter: the committee has no proof of any wrongdoing but the chairman claims that the
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companies could be a kind of trojan horse allowing the chinese government to gather intelligence or strike the u.s. with a cyber war. the committee is urging american companies as well as u.s. government systems and contractors to find other vendors. but h youuawei say it is committee is trying to poke china in the eye on cyber attacks holding the company hostage. >> huawei is huawei. it's not china. whatever concerns they have with the state, the government of another state or vice versa has nothing to do with my company and my company should not be held hostage to someone's political agenda. >> reporter: it's one of the biggest information communications providers in the world. a $30 billion firm with 120,000 employees worldwide operating in 140 countries. with 1,700 employees in the u.s., it provides
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telecommunications infrastructure as well as phones and tablets. it's founder is an officer in the chinese army but they deny a connection. the congressional committee huawei says made up the mind even before the hearings began. a statement on the company's website says the committee's report not only ignore e ed our proven track record of network security in the united states and globally but also paid no attention to the large amount of facts that we have provided. the congressionally created u.s.-china economic and security review commission found that huawei receives funding of the chinese military for research and development of cyber, communications and intelligence gathering system but they call that charge patently false. now, the other company named by the intelligence committee zte also denies it's directed or
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controlled by the xhi these government and huawei says it has to suspect the only purpose of the report by the committee is to impede competition or to obstruct chinese companies from entering the u.s. market. wolf? >> and this report, jill, had bipartisan support. not only the republican chairman of the committee, mike rogers but the democratic ranking member, as well, isn't that right? >> reporter: it's true but the information coming from intelligence sources and they can't say specifically what they know so when you try to get in to the specifics what are they doing, that's where it's hard to figure out exactly what it is. >> yeah. mike rogers repeatedly saying there's classified information but can't release it publicly. jill, thanks very, very much. kate? still ahead, the meningitis outbreak is worse. new numbers just in released by the cdc and advice of our
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the death toll from the meningitis outbreak in the u.s. is edging higher. >> pretty scary. we were talking about it in the break. very, very scary. 105 people infected and 8 have now died the fungal meningitis outbreak. elizabeth cohen has advice for those who have recently had an injection for back pain. listen here. >> and what you should do is you should call your doctor, if you have had one of these in the past six months and find out if your medicine made by the new england compounding center and if it was talk to your doctor about whether or not to come in for testing. you may be perfectly fine but the fungal infections can take months to show up. >> fungal meningitis is very
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rare and it is not contagious. an important note. airport security problems. this doesn't make the airport security people look so good. at least not in newark. the star ledger newspaper says it obtained a report from an undercover team of tsa inspectors and found security crews do pat downs correctly only 17% of the time. and take appropriate action on banned items one quarter of the time. in california, the price at the pump shot up a whopping 50 cents a gallon in a week. according to aaa the average price there today, $4.67 a gallon. overall across the u.s., prices edged up less than a penny in the two weeks. a survey shows a drop in most cities as lower crude prices made their way to the pump. i'm sorry, everyone. it's splitsville for another long-time hollywood couple. right there. danny and rhea are separating after 30 years of marriage.
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the couple will not be releasing a statement. they reportedly got married while they were on a lunch break of "taxi." . one of many projects may worked on together. sad, sad news. will not be hearing about it. moving on. >> good. move on to mitt romney. he calls for the united states to start arming syrian rebels. how's that going to happen? i'll ask his senior foreign policy adviser. he is standing by live along with the senior advise tore the obama campaign. we are standing by for a spirited debate. with a tablet in sydney...let wg a desktop in zurich... and a telepresence room in brazil. the secure cloud helped us get some numbers from my assistant's pc in new york. and before i reached the top, the board meeting became a congrats we sold the company party. wait til my wife's phone hears about this. [ cellphone vibrating ] [ female announcer ] with cisco at the center, working together has never worked so well.
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mitt romney drawing a sharp distinction between president obama and himself when it comes to syria. >> that's absolutely right. the republican presidential candidate slammed obama's foreign poll say today saying the president made the middle east a more dangerous region, specifically criticizing the handling of the syrian civil war which romney says he'd handle
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differently. listen. >> in syria, i'll work with our partners to identify and organize those members of the opposition who share our values and then ensure that they obtain the arms they need to defeat assad's tanks and helicopters and fighter jets. >> let's talk about that and more with obama's campaign national security adviser collin call, a former deputy assistant secretary of defense in the obama administration and veteran diplomat william williamson to the romney campaign. ambassador williamson, how does this work? >> first, let me just say that the speech today showed the great choice the american people have in contrast. president obama's embraced leading from behind. governor romney says the world and u.s. is better if the u.s. leads from the front. also, governor romney's embraced
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peace through strength which means our economy, our military, our values being resolute, where -- >> all right. >> it's really that's been the policy from truman to kennedy to regan. >> what about arming the syrian rebels? how do you do that? what do you do? >> it goes to the leadership question because leadership is anticipating problems, taking action early. and being resolute. in this case, in syria, last april over a year ago we had violence in syria. including the poor boy 12-year-old who was at a demonstration, he was arrested, he was returned to his family. two weeks later, wrapped up in a blanket and plastic. he was mutilated, burned. the body decomposing and the penis in his mouth. we should have known then that bashar al assad is relentless and brutal going forward to hold on to power.
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instead, we went to the u.n. and asked mother may i from the russians to take action. >> all right. but i understand that. ambassador, i understand, ambassador williamson. you still haven't explained how would you go ahead and start arming the rebels? how do you arm rebels, some may be good, some may be really bad guys? >> that's why governor romney called last fall almost a year ago for us to have assets in there to help the moderates and the opposition to organization and get stronger, something that the obama administration failed to do and only sent assets in this late may. time does not make the problems get better, they make worse. the governor called early this year for us to try to arm the moderate opposition. again, president obama waited, waited, waited and late may signing a presidential statement on this. and so, that time is all made it much more difficult. has made it much messier.
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30,000 have died. a failure of leadership and what the governor did today is outlined the need for anticipation, leadership and being resolute. not playing mother may i with the russians at the security council. >> i want to bring you in, collin, and respond to this. these are pretty brutal critiques of president obama's foreign policy. >> yeah. but like much of governor romney's positions on foreign policy it's mostly bluster. there's not a lot of substance. i mean, the president taken a clear leadership role across the region. he stood up for the values, stood up for the friends and gone after the enemies. on syria, working with the opposition to provide them all kinds of assistance. and to help them unify in the event of a transition away from assad's regime. and look. i worked on the syria issue at the pentagon for three years and coming to this issue there's a lot more ways to make the situation worse and get us
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deeper in a conflict than to make it better an i'm just say that governor romney wants to give the opposition heavy weapons to include weapons to shoot down syrian fighter jets. guess what? those same weapons systems could shoot down israeli airliners. it is interesting romney says no daylight between him and the israelis but i bet there is on this issue. >> respond, ambassador williamson. >> well, the type of passive and lead from the behind approach is not only resulted in 30,000 dead in syria, and over 100,000 refugees in our nato allied turkey, destabilization in the region and now missile or arms being fired between syria and turkey, our nato ally for whom we have obligations but the same approach resulted in iran getting much, much closer to nuclear breakout, resulted in the 20 embassies that had
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demonstrations. >> but what about the specific -- the specific -- >> american flag burned and the black flag of al qaeda raised and american ambassador killed. >> the specific point that collin just made if you give shoulder-fired surface-to-air missiles to some guys they could shoot down israeli aircraft? how do you prevent that? >> well, how you prevent it is not waiting until it's out of hand. you get involved earlier. you anticipate the problem. you lead. that's why you work with the opposition a year ago, not waiting until may when it's being crowded out by extremists. that's why you start to arm the moderate opposition early this year. not wait until late may before you let some of our friends do it. yes, it gets tougher when you fail to act and you know what? it's going to continue to get tougher as we follow a strategy of passivity. you either lead and try to shape events or accept the conseque e
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consequences of being a bystander and the results of being a bystander is forces that are against u.s. interests move in, fill the void and that's why we have the turmoil in the greater at least today. it's unacceptable. we need leadership. >> we'll bring collin back in the conversation in a moment. we'll take a quick break. we'll talk about mitt romney, president obama, israel and iran. stay with us. up. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know.
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once again, mitt romney's attack today on president obama's foreign policy included israel. >> he pointed out the president's relationship with israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. listen here. >> the relationship between the presidents of the united states and the prime minister of
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israel, for example, our closest ally in the region, has suffered great strains. the president explicitly stated the goal was to put daylight between the united states and israel and he succeeded. >> bring back in our panel, back with obama campaign national security adviser collin call and romney campaign foreign policy adviser richard williamson. collin, i want to start with you. doesn't romney have a point here? there's a very tense relationship we're aware of between president obama and netanyahu. >> look, you know, i traveled to israel 13 times in 13 years as an official. there's no daylight between us and the israelis with the core national security. he has a good working relationship with prime minister netanyahu. a guy he talks to on the phone and visits with more than any other foreign leader in the world.
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we have put in place crippling sanctions against iran. we have put on an option to include every single option mitt romney advocated in the speech today. for example, you know, governor romney said we need aircraft carrier task forces in the area. there's two there ever since 2010 and naval assets in the eastern mediterranean to make sure my missiles shot out of the sky. there's no daylight on the iranian question. >> on that point, ambassador williamson, i think that there have at times between some tension between the two leaders prime minister netanyahu and the president. i went to jerusalem last july and interviewed mitt romney there but the next day i interviewed other leaders in israel including the president of israel perez and the defense minister of israel barak. this is what they told me. >> but they should tell you honestly that this
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administration under president obama is doing in regard to our security more than anything that i can remember in the past. >> when i look at the record of president obama concerning the major issues of security, i think it's a highly satisfactory record from israeli point of view. >> all right. so does collin call have a good point defending this u.s.-israeli relationship despite the tensions from time to time between the prime minister and the president? >> well, again, there's a fundamentally different approach between president obama and governor romney. the fact is, yes, we have given more military assistance and that's good. but there's not political cooperation, there's not a diplomatic united front. of course, elected officials in israel are going to say publicly we have a good relationship with the united states. but wolf, you used to be a correspondent there. you know the region.
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we have never had a situation before where the united states is more intent on saying no to israel to protect itself from an exostential threat and the fact is under president obama iran has gotten closer to nuclear breakout. thousands of more centrifuges. enriched uranium, 20%. great advances on their missile programs. they can hit israel as well as others of our friends further on. and look. it's all symbolized and put in a nutshell. this is the first president in decades, republican or democrat, who went to the u.n. and didn't seize the opportunity to have bilateral meetings with heads of state important to us facing serious problems and no more serious problem than iran's nuclear breakout and this president met with whoopie goldberg on "the view" instead of netanyahu. that's wrong headed and we have
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a different approach. >> i want to bring collin to respond to this. again, very strong criticism. you two are almost like you're talking about two campaigns obviously but two different presidential races right now. collin, i want you to respond to the ambassador. he is saying very clearly under president obama iran gained strength and the middle east is more dangerous. >> it is not just true. we have talking about two different realities and i'm not sure what reality the romney campaign is in. this president put harsher sanctions on iran. he's put a credible solution on the table. he said that the nuclear weapon is unacceptable. frankly, there is not a single aspect of mitt romney's position on iran that's anything other than a description of the current policy. >> let me -- >> hold on, hold on one second, wolf. the only possible difference is when mitt romney talks about a nuclear capability -- >> that's correct. >> but the challenge is and i would ambassador williamson,
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what does that mean? because if it means the technical know-how to develop a nuclear weapon in the future officials said for a listening time iran has that. expect a war on the day one of the romney administration. if it means what governor romney said on "60 minutes" which is all the components of a weapon then that's the same red line as president obama. we're back to tough talk but no there there with regard to the president. >> go ahead ambassador. >> colin has a different view of reality. the international atomic energy agency, everyone understands that they've enriched uranium to 20%. the amount gone up substantially under president obama. those are the facts. not an opinion. and that they've developed more missile capability. those are the facts. now, have they moved closer to nuclear weapons based on the fact the answer is yes. colin knows that.
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instead he wants to move the debate elsewhere. the obama policies failed. secondly, the sanctions they wrap themselves around and we're glad they're tough sanctions. they're introduced by republicans and the obama white house opposed those sanctions when they were introduced in congress. >> all right. >> and only put them in when congress passed it. >> gentlemen, unfortunately, we have to continue the debate on another day. maybe late they are week. there will be more to talk about. we know there will be a major foreign policy vice presidential debate. unfortunately, we have to leave it right there. >> thank you. >> thanks to both of you for joining us. >> we'll be right back. campbell's healthy request soup lets you hear it... in your heart. [ basketball bouncing ] heart healthy. great taste. mmm... [ male announcer ] sounds good. it's amazing what soup can do.
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this is what a sky dive we're going to show you video, a sky dive from the edge of space looks like but this was just a practice jump. one of the last leaps felix baumgartnerer in took before the attempt to break a record. >> he could become the first person ever to break the sound t person ever to break the sound barrier by skydiving. brian todd is at mission control where he got a behind the scenes look at what's going on in this operation. >> reporter: wolf, the hour is almost at hand. tomorrow morning, he'll try to set the record for the longer ever free fall and for the speed record. the command center is right behind me. we got access to it jaus short time ago. inside mission control, anticipation, raw nerves, intense focus. we get special access as art thompson does his final preparations for a historic jump.
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>> and so they're thinking it's because it's going to find one out, but it's pretty exciting. everybody's in place. we test ed all the equipment. >> reporter: it's here where some of the top minds in aerospace will guide him. they sit in the front row, joel kitinger, he'll be in this row. everything is going to be on display on these monitors. all the different camera angles. even felix's vital signs, on display here. after five years of preparation, two test jumps and various delays, go time on tuesday morning is at hand. he will attempt the longest ever free fall from 120,000 feet. free fall will be about 115,000 feet, then his parachute will deploy 500,000 feet up. he will also try to break the
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speed of sound, going more than 690 miles an hour, wearing just his pressure suit, helmet and parachute. no one's ever done that outside a vehicle and we've been covering this mission for more than two years. when i spoke to him earlier this year, he discussed how focused he'll have to be at all times on his bearings and his instruments . is that something you'll regret though? not necessarily having a philosophical moment? >> almost makes me feel sad because you want to enjoy that moment, but you have so many things going on. you have to remember all the procedures. joel's down in mission control talking to you. you know you're in a really hostile environment and you cannot think about anything else. you have to be focused, otherwise, you're going to die. sx >> reporter: i asked kitingger if he might have a ting of jealousy. >> i'm glad he's going to do it. he's advancing science and he'll
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do a great job. >> reporter: and that's key here. the records mean a lot, but what this team really wants to get out of this mission is the aerospace advancement. they want to see if that suit can be the next generation of space suits, to see if a human can survive outside a vehicle in the event of a malfunction. >> thanks very, very much. something you don't want to miss, mila kunis talk iing abou wolf blitzer. i'll tell you in a second. with . you know the giants don't have a mascot right mom? [ male announcer ] campbell's chunky soup. it fills you up right.
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your spouse? how about carrying her up a hill, through a mud hole. and over the sand hill. it's the north american wife carrying championship held at the sunday river ski resoth in maine. although there are a couple of newlyweds, you don't even have to be married. you can pretty much carry or drop anyone. almost everyone uses the acetone yan carry. the woman wraps her legs around the guy's neck. apart from hanging on upside down, a woman being carried doesn't really do much of anything. what the world championships in finland -- the water obstacle is deeper and the women sometimes have to hold their breath. here at the north american competition, it's the mud that's the enemy.
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called the mud pond, the widow maker. wife carrying originated in finland. look how gracefully this finish pair beats the widow maker. surprise, surprise. the fins have the fastest time. just under 53 seconds to complete the almost three football field long course. >> yes, it was very tough. >> they were already the four-time world champs of wife ca carrying and no, she's not his wife. he's a lawyer. she's a nanny. first place prize, five times the female's weight in beer and five times her weight in cash. which means christina weighs in at 106 pounds, but the one who got squish eed was the second place finisher. the press herald's camera caught this victory snuggle.
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these wife carriers sure now how to carry on. jeanne moos, cnn, new york. so, the most talked about story today, one of the most talked about articles is about mila kunis. esquire named her the sexiest woman alive and with all the picture, you may not have head the article. she talks about wolf blitzer. wolf invited mila to be his guest at the white house correspondents dinner and now, we know what mila thought about hanging out with the blitz or wolf man. i had the the most incredible experience, she goes on to say, ever. i watch cnn, msnbc, all day long, every day. so i meet with wolf and i'm like, oh, my god, wolf blitzer. two drinks in, i just start talking. so, about ahminedjad's nephew, wolf was